China’s president on Sunday used the centennial of a revolution that ended imperial rule to make an appeal to further relations with Taiwan, saying they should move beyond the history that divides them and focus on common economic and cultural interests.
At a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Hu Jintao said that China and Taiwan should end antagonisms, “heal wounds of the past and work together to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
“Achieving reunification by peaceful means best serves the fundamental interests of all Chinese, including our Taiwan compatriots,” Hu said, adding that the sides should increase economic competitiveness, promote Chinese culture and build on a sense of a common national identity. Also onstage was the 85-year-old former president Jiang. Jiang’s failure to appear at a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party’s founding in July sparked intense online speculation that he had died.